Don’t ask for customer “feedback”

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Vague questions will give you vague answers

Asking for customer input isn’t helpful though when you are posing vague questions like “How have you been finding [product]?” and “Do you have any feedback for us?” as the CEO did in his email. Vague questions like these will give you vague answers. The data (answers) you will get will be all over the place because inviting your customers to provide “any feedback” will get you all kinds of data, from bug reports and feature requests to personal opinions. And having those vague data will get in the way of making the right decisions for your business, e.g. deciding what to do or what to build next.

The ultimate purpose of taking data is action. Scientific data are not taken for museum purposes; they are taken as a basis for doing something. If nothing is to be done with the data, then there is no use in collecting any. The ultimate purpose of taking data is to provide a basis for action or a recommendation for action. The step intermediate between the collection of data and the action is prediction.

W. Edwards Deming (Source)

  • Desires, i.e. experiences they want or want more of but can’t get at the moment,
  • Constraints, i.e. things that prevent them from fulfilling those desires,
  • Catalysts, i.e. events that create or affect a desire, constraint or choice set, and
  • Choice Set, i.e. things that they can hire to overcome a constraint and satisfy a desire.*



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Rene Bastijans

Rene Bastijans


I help software companies grow by becoming great at creating demand for their products or services. #jtbd #product #marketing #innovation #growth #research